Textile Recycling Program Benefits Vermont Communities
Textile recycling and reuse programs allow our communities to reduce the waste that enters their landfills. Diverting waste from our landfills helps lower operating costs and the amount of land and resources required for landfill expansion. In addition, these programs help reduce the consumption of the raw materials and energy required for new textile manufacturing.
For over 18 years, Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) has recycled the clothing, linens and shoes that didn’t sell in our “Good Buy” Thrift Stores located in Windham and Windsor counties. In November 2007, SEVCA purchased an industrial baler, opened a warehouse, and invited other organizations to send over their recyclable clothes, shoes and other textile materials. Recycled textiles become polishing cloths, insulation, and lining, fibers for new products or clothing for people in the US or developing countries.
In May 2008, SEVCA partnered with the Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District to expand the textile recycling program. SEVCA set up four textile collection sheds within the Transfer Station and Recycling Centers for Cavendish, Plymouth, Rockingham, and Weathersfield. SEVCA’s staff routinely empties the collection sheds and delivers the textiles to the warehouse in White River Junction. "SEVCA has helped our residents to divert many tons of clothing and shoes from the landfill.” stated Mary O’Brien, the Recycling Coordinator for the SWMD.
Now the textile recycling program is growing again to include more towns whose leaders realize the value of diverting textile waste from their landfills and the numerous benefits of keeping our state green. The towns that recently decided to collect textiles for recycling through SEVCA’s program include Johnson, Ludlow, Moretown and Stowe.
Since November 2007, SEVCA has recycled more than 520 tons of clothing and shoes that would have been disposed of in our local landfills. The proceeds from the recycled textiles and sales in the Good Buy Thrift Stores help support SEVCA’s programs that assist local residents who are in crisis or struggling with the hardships of poverty to meet their basic needs of housing, heating fuel, utilities, food, clothing, and furniture.
For example, last year SEVCA provided vouchers for free clothing and household goods to more than 210 families (486 people) and fuel assistance for over 1400 households.
It matters where you donate. Donating your unwanted clothing, shoes, furniture or household goods, whether it is for reuse or recycling, benefits your neighbors and the local environment. Sales in our thrift stores support services for your neighbors in need. Gently used clothing, furniture and more can be donated to the Good Buy Thrift Stores.
Items that we recycle include clean and dry clothing, shoes (please bag separately from clothing), blankets, sheets, towels, curtains, mittens, gloves, purses, coats, socks, stuffed animals, and belts. All items that are not re-usable due to rips or stains will be recycled.
If you have any questions about making a donation of re-usable or recyclable goods please contact one of our Good Buy Thrift Stores: White River Junction (802) 359-4183 or (802) 295-6373, Bellows Falls (802) 463-9084, and Springfield (802) 885-7074.
Locations for textile recycling sheds include VT town transfer stations and recycling centers at the following locations:
Cavendish Transfer Station and Recycling
354 Route 131
Cavendish, VT 05142
24 New Boston Road
Plymouth Drop-off and Recycling
68 Town Office Road
Plymouth, VT 05056
Rockingham Transfer Station and Recycling
7446 Route 5
Westminster, VT 05158
Weathersfield Transfer Station and Recycling
5024 Route 106
Perkinsville, VT 05151
Springfield Transfer Station and Recycling
Springfield, VT 05156
* Does not have a textile shed but they save textiles for us in an area upstairs.
Ludlow Transfer Station
336 Route 100, South Ludlow, VT
Johnson Transfer Station
Route 100, Johnson, VT
Moretown Transfer Station
RT 2, Moretown, VT
Regional Transfer Station
Stowe Transfer Station
Route 108/Mountain Rd., Stowe, VT
“Unless the investment in children is made, all of humanity’s most fundamental long-term problems will remain fundamental long-term problems.”
-UNICEF “The State of the Children” (1995)